Buying in 2015: The Zero Moment of Truth and Online Marketing
If a marketer from 2005 — heck, even 2010 — popped out of a time machine today, he would feel utterly and completely lost. When you really stop to think about it, the changes that have been made in both B2B and B2C marketing as the result of the Internet and social media have been absolutely remarkable. People simply don’t shop in the same manner that they used to.
Customers are evolving at an incredible pace, and it’s your job to keep up with them. Do you know how to intervene at the most critical time of all? Engaging with buyers at the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) is the key to successful marketing in 2015 and beyond.
Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT): What Is It?
If you really want to know what makes your buyers tick, all you need to do is take a closer look at your own shopping habits. Think back to your last major purchase. Regardless of whether it was out of a need or a desire, you probably took the time to do one key thing before closing the deal: “Googled it”. “Pre-Buying” by doing a bit of online research is now the norm. No one wants to make a buying decision without first having all of the facts. What are your options? Which products do other consumers like the best? How does the product work? What do people think of the brand, in general? These are all questions that buyers want – and feel entitled — to know before purchasing anything these days.
Now that you understand how important the ZMOT really is, you may find yourself wondering what you can do to influence your buyers at the critical moment. This is where a comprehensive online marketing strategy comes into play. You and your marketing team should be focused on:
SEO — Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical at the ZMOT. As your prospective customers are searching online for information about the types of goods and services that your business has to offer, you want them to come to your specific product information first. This will ensure that you’re in the running amongst the competition. For best results, make sure that your SEO is designed to direct users to information that is tied to product specifications and reviews.
SMO — Social Media Optimization (SMO) is equally important as SEO. The vast majority of your consumer audience is connected to one or more social media platforms, and you need to make your presence known in these spaces in order to connect with them in a way that they are able to relate to. Remember that social media extends to Youtube. Before buying, many users want to understand how a product works. Uploading videos that demonstrate your products in use can make a huge difference at the ZMOT. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, second to Google, so uploading videos that demonstrate your products in use can make a huge difference at the ZMOT. Plus, who doesn’t love social media?
Customer Reviews — Sites like Yelp! are designed to enable consumers to share their experiences with a specific brand, as well as the products and services that they have to offer. Google has also made giving reviews directly on their platforms rather easy (and an easy way to get SEO points) through their platform that includes Google+, YouTube, and Google Analytics. Although you can’t force users to sing your praises, you can stay connected and involved to help encourage the process. Take ownership of these sites and monitor them carefully. Respond to negative reviews with concern and understanding to demonstrate your value for the customer. And don’t be afraid to ask customers who love you to add an online review. Just send them over a link.
Customer Conversations — Hashtags make it easy for businesses to start and follow conversations that involve their brand, products, or services. It’s a good idea to stay involved with these conversations. This will give you a better idea about what your buyers think of you and how you can better relate to and reach them at the ZMOT.
Are you connecting with your customers at the Zero Moment Of Truth? Unless you already an excellent online marketing strategy, you’re probably not maximizing buyer experiences. With Madison Taylor Marketing on your team, though, you can reap the full benefits of comprehensive online marketing and boost your revenue.